Mission: Who we are - Since 2006, 23andMe’s mission has been to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. We are a group of passionate individuals pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to help turn genetic insight into better health and ...
To help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.
Founded by Anne Wojcicki, Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza in 2006, 23andMe launched its Personal Genome Service® a year later. 23andMe’s mission is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.
Based in Mountain View, California, the company currently employs well over 350 people and ships its product to more than 50 countries worldwide.
The Meaning Behind the Name
The name 23andMe refers to the fact that human DNA is organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes. 23andMe connects individuals to their unique, paired set of 23 chromosomes.
We surround ourselves with good people, the kind of people you miss on the weekends. We share combined interests, as well as unique side interests that make us well-rounded teammates. We understand you are more than just an employee. Our team consists of composers, cooks, app developers, dancers, opera singers, artists, YouTube sensations, martial artists, marathon champions and more.
We want you to be surrounded by work that you love and inspired by a talented team that loves doing that work with you. Here are some of our benefits for employees:
We offer excellent medical, dental and vision insurance, as well as the option for a flex spending account for health and/or dependent care expenses. Additionally, we offer life insurance, short-term disability and a 401(k) with employer match. Vacation and sick leave accrual, along with paid holidays, are also part of the package. And seasonal flu shots for all!
We work hard... and believe your body should get as much of a workout as your brain. We offer fitness sessions like yoga, Pilates and strength training.
Keep active throughout the day by working on one of our multiple treadmill desks or stay energized by working at your (optional) standing desk. You can hop on one of our ElliptiGO bikes to take a workday breather around the block. For those craving team sports, we also have after-hours intramural sports teams which are beginner-friendly and compete in local intramural leagues for soccer, tennis and other sports.
We provide lunch five days a week, starting with organic lunches from a talented local chef, and we sponsor team lunches at nearby restaurants so you can meet everyone at the company. Of course we always have a kitchen fully stocked with healthy snacks and beverages, for those in- between times.
As part of our goal to be transparent, we get together on Fridays to share information during lunch. Usually this means presentations with company updates and internal announcements, or presentations from guest speakers. But if we don't have any presentations, we like to get a little feisty and bring in food trucks, play trivia games, hold bake-offs, and celebrate company milestones and fun holidays.
When you start at 23andMe, we'll provide you with a DNA kit so you can learn about your genetics firsthand. And to further your education, we have a tuition reimbursement program that provides full time employees with support for some job-related college level coursework. It's great for career development and we invite all employees to participate.
Our employees live all over the Bay Area, so we offer a free CalTrain GoPass to everyone. Whether you take the train for your daily commute, or during your own free time, a GoPass will help you get around.
And on any given day, you may also see a few friendly dogs hanging around the office.
Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder
Anne co-founded 23andMe in 2006 after a decade spent in healthcare investing, focused primarily on biotechnology companies. Her hope was to empower consumers with access to their own genetic information and to create a way to generate more personalized information so that commercial and academic researchers could better understand and develop new drugs and diagnostics. Presently, 23andMe has built one of the world’s largest databases of individual genetic information. Its novel, web-based research approach allows for the rapid recruitment of participants to many genome-wide association studies at once, reducing the time and money needed to make new discoveries, and the company has created a proven and standardized resource for finding new genetic association and confirming genetic loci discovered by others. Under Anne’s leadership 23andMe has made significant advances in bringing personalized medicine directly to the public. Anne graduated from Yale University with a BS in Biology. Getting access to and understanding her own genetic information had always been one of her ambitions.
Esther Dyson, Board Member
Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings, the reclaimed name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004. In the last few years, she has turned her sights towards IT and health care. She dedicated two issues of her newsletter, Release 1.0, to the topic (Health and Identity: No Patient Left Behind? in January 2005 and Personal Health Information: Data Comes Alive! in September 2005). Also in September 2005, she ran the Personal Health Information workshop that laid out many of the challenges still perplexing the health-care community. Currently, she is one of the initial ten subjects of George Church’s Personal Genome Project. Her primary activity is investing in start-ups and guiding many of them as a board member. Her board seats include Boxbe, CVO Group (Hungary), Eventful.com, Evernote, IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Meetup, Midentity (UK), NewspaperDirect, and WPP Group and Yandex (Russia). Some of her past direct IT investments include Flickr, Del.icio.us, BrightMail, Medstory and Orbitz. Dyson was the founding chairman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000, and was also chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the 90’s. In 1997, she wrote Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, which appeared in paperback a year later as Release 2.1. In 1994, she wrote a seminal essay on intellectual property for Wired magazine.
Patrick Chung, Board Member
Patrick is a founding partner of Xfund. Prior to joining Xfund full-time, Patrick was a partner at NEA and led the firm’s consumer and seed investment practices. He is a director of 23andMe, Curalate, Euclid, MeCommerce, Philo, and Ravel Law, and is actively involved with CrowdMed, Guideline, IFTTT, Landit, Rock Health, Upworthy, and Zumper. Past investments include Pulse (acquired by LinkedIn), Loopt (acquired by Green Dot), GoodGuide (acquired by Underwriters Laboratories), Xfire (acquired by Viacom), and Xoom (NASDAQ: XOOM). Prior to joining NEA, Patrick helped to grow ZEFER, an Internet services firm (acquired by NEC) to more than $100 million in annual revenues and more than 700 people across six global offices. Prior to ZEFER, Patrick was with McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in hardware, software, and services companies. Patrick received a joint JD-MBA degree from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Patrick was a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a Master of Science degree. Patrick earned his A.B. degree at Harvard College in Environmental Science. He is a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, and a member of the Committee to Visit Harvard College.
Roelof Botha, Board Member
Roelof F. Botha focuses on Internet, services and software investments. He is a Director of Eventbrite, Evernote, Inside.com, MongoDB, Natera (NTRA), Square (SQ), Unity Technologies, and Weebly. He is also involved with Sequoia Capital portfolio companies including CEGX and Mapillary. Previously, he was a Director of YouTube.com (GOOG), Insider Pages (IACI), Meebo (GOOG), TokBox (Telefonica Digital), Nimbula (ORCL), Tumblr (YHOO), Jawbone, Xoom (XOOM) and AssureX, and led Sequoia's investment in Instagram (FB). Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2003, Roelof served as the Chief Financial Officer of PayPal (PYPL), an online payments company. Earlier, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Roelof is a certified actuary (Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries) and holds a B.S. in Actuarial Science, Economics and Statistics from the University of Cape Town and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Neal Mohan, Board Member
Neal Mohan is Chief Product Officer at YouTube, and a SVP at Google. He is responsible for YouTube products and user experience on all platforms and devices globally. This includes YouTube’s core mobile applications, YouTube.com, emerging technologies like VR, vertical experiences such as YouTube Kids, Music and Gaming, and YouTube’s two subscription services, YouTube Red and YouTube TV. Products for media partners, content creators and musicians are also part of Neal’s portfolio.
Previously, Neal was Senior Vice President of Display and Video Ads at Google. In this role, he was responsible for the company’s advertising offerings on YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdSense, AdMob, and the DoubleClick family of programmatic ad platform products. He focused on growing the overall digital media industry by building innovative solutions for millions of Google's advertising and media partners around the world.
Neal serves on the Boards of Directors for 23andMe and the New America Foundation’s California Advisory Council. He has also served as a member of the Management Board for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Neal has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Internet Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association. He is a regular speaker at media and technology industry events and has been named one of Ad Age's 10 Most Influential Players in Marketing and AdWeek’s 12 Stars of Ad Tech.
Before joining Google, Neal was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Development at DoubleClick where he built the company's strategic plan, led the product management team, and rapidly grew the business. He played a critical role in the sale of DoubleClick to Google and subsequently led the integration. Previously, Neal held various technology and business leadership positions at DoubleClick and NetGravity where he helped pioneer the digital marketing industry. He has also served in strategy and consulting roles at Microsoft and Accenture.
Neal earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
23andMe Core Values
We are a mission-driven company with big dreams of using data to revolutionize health, wellness and research. We want to improve healthcare. We want to prevent disease. We want to give individuals control over their health data. We want to dramatically accelerate the pace of research. We want to develop better drugs smarter and faster. There is no comfort zone. We do not shy away from controversy, and we never give up. We are pioneering a new world, centered on the consumer, where success depends on bold ideas and unprecedented scale. Big is key, and thinking big drives us.
We ♡ DNA!
Deciphering the human genome is the most exciting scientific discovery of our lifetime. A secret code in each of us! There is spectacular human diversity in the world and we celebrate and embrace it. We want to empower everyone to understand the genome and what it means for each of us. We believe anyone -- yes, anyone -- can learn about and understand their DNA. We want to bring innovative research and products to both scientists and consumers that make them as excited about their DNA story as we are!
Lead with science.
This company is built on science. We make evidence-based decisions. In a world where health is poorly understood, we use data to better understand wellness and disease. We bring science to our customers and help them use it in meaningful ways. We are committed to scientific standards and being a trusted source of genetic information. At the same time, we push the boundaries of what's possible to enable groundbreaking research and innovative products. And we empower those outside the company to leverage the platform we've built.
Get to Yes or No, quickly.
Pioneering means that often there is not an obvious path forward. But we also recognize that indecision leads to failure. We take initiative. We make thoughtful decisions, quickly. We gather data but do our best with imperfect information. We will make mistakes. But we admit them, learn from them, adjust, and keep blazing forward.
Behind every data point is a human being.
In each drop of spit lies a whole story of ancestry, health and connectedness that is about to unfold. We have no idea where the genetic journey will take each customer, but each journey is beautiful and meaningful in its own way. We have seen how ancestry insights change the way people look at themselves and the world around them. We have seen how health results change lives and in some cases, save them. We have seen how our research gives meaning to people who want to make a difference in their lives or in the lives of others. We never forget that there are real people on the other end of every decision, every interaction, and every data point. The most important relationship we have is with our customer and the trust they place in us.
We're in this together.
We are a team. We work incredibly hard and spend a lot of time together making our mission a reality, and we make sure to have a positive environment that fosters collaboration and respect. Diversity and opportunity matter -- we know that great ideas come from everywhere and that everyone contributes to our success. We recognize that every person is different, and we support and help each other grow. The wellbeing of our company depends on the wellbeing of our employees, and we are committed to making this an amazing place to work.
Company Overall - Gender
Company Overall - Ethnicity*
*Data from June 2017. Data taken from our EEO-1 reporting. Ethnicity refers to the EEO-1 categories which we know are imperfect categorizations of race and ethnicity, but reflect the US government reporting requirements.
Company Overall - Age
Leadership* Roles - Gender
*Director and above
I have been working at 23andMe full-time (Less than a year)
We are surrounded by smart and humble people here. The culture is focused on being mission based, fun, and doing work we love that makes a difference. A lot of companies talk about changing the world...but here we actually are disrupting healthcare. The stories of our customers are inspiring and remind us of the difference our product makes on lives.
Not really “cons” but we are growing fast so there are growing pains. We are working to hire faster. Our perks are awesome. Could use more on 401K and there’s the unknown of having stock in a private company...you have to believe of the potential of the equity (which we do!).
Advice to Management
Continue to make culture a top priority. Stay humble, stay hungry!
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at 23andMe.
Applied through a referral. Was interviewed 2 weeks later. This was my first technical interview, and I slept only 2 hours the night before out of nervousness - it did not go well. The questions were not too difficult, but my presentation was poor. It was incredibly disappointing, as I spent most of the interview reeling from exhaustion. I was also typing notes on my laptop as the interview was going on, which I think distracted the interviewer. Oops...
Make sure to sleep properly before your interviews! Also, do lots of mock interviews if you can.